The first contingent of Australian troops to train Ukrainian recruits in the United Kingdom as part of Operation Kudu was farewelled on January 18.
Family and friends joined Minister for Defence Personnel Matt Keogh and Chief of Army Lieutenant General Simon Stuart at Robertson Barracks, Darwin, to see off the unit of about 70 soldiers.
In 2022 the Australian Government announced that the ADF would join an international mission in the UK to provide training for Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) recruits.
No ADF personnel will enter Ukraine.
Operation Kudu personnel will join partners from New Zealand, the Netherlands, Finland, Latvia, Canada and other contributing nations in the UK to generate additional capability within the UAF.
Ukrainian soldiers have shown courage in defending their sovereignty since the Russian invasion in February last year, and the ADF’s support will build on that by training recruits in infantry tactics in urban and wooded environments in the UK.
Commander 1st Brigade Brigadier Nick Foxall joined Mr Keogh and Lieutenant General Stuart in farewelling the Darwin-based contingent.
“1st Brigade soldiers are some of the finest fighting men and women in the Australian Army,” Brigadier Foxall said.
“I can’t imagine a better group to represent this brigade, the Army and all of Australia in supporting this critical mission.”
Lieutenant General Stuart reminded departing soldiers of the gravity and significance of their task.
“The mission we have is really important. It’s one that matters, and we have got a great sense of purpose amongst the team here,” Lieutenant General Stuart said.
“It’s really important because they are going to be supporting Ukrainians who are fighting for their families, for their way of life and for their country.”
image Defence Personnel Minister Matt Keogh speaks with Australian Army soldiers from the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment. Photo: Corporal Dustin Anderson